Ron Kendall, director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech, said researchers tested only the muscle tissues consumed by people. When concluded, they found evidence of three antibiotics in 30 samples tested.
Though the sample sizes were small, he said finding antibiotic residues at all is cause for concern. Todd Anderson, a professor of environmental toxicology, and instrument manager QingSong Cai conducted the shrimp analyses.
“We estimate that at least 80% of all shrimp imported to grocery retailers comes from farmed sources with similar practices,” said Graham Beaton, a head toxicologist and food inspector.
“We know that 80% of all farmed shrimp comes from Asia, mostly from Thailand and China who are well known for producing ‘dirty shrimp’.”
Shrimp farming has changed from traditional, small-scale businesses in Southeast Asia into a global industry whose primary motive is profit. Technological advances have led to growing shrimp at ever higher densities, and broodstock is shipped worldwide.
Sodium Tripolyphosphate is in more than 90% of packaged shrimp and seafood, something of great concern, especially since it’s also used in detergents, antifreeze and flame retardants.
This controversial additive can make expired products appear firmer and glossier, and fool consumers into buying old or spoiled fish, shrimp and other seafood foods that could ultimately make people sick. Worse yet, exposure to the chemical itself could also be very harmful.